Church and State: March 2007 Archives

March 26, 2007

Grumpy old man

Vatican City: A religious leader in an undemocratic city state has declared that the EU is headed for oblivion, because it doesn't give lip service to his imaginary friend.

Angry that a Berlin Declaration unveiled yesterday listing the EU's achievements and challenges on its 50th birthday contained no reference to the continent's Christian roots, Pope Benedict said that Europe could not be built by ignoring its people's identities.

So no doubt he'll be setting an example to us all by respecting the identities of LGBT Europeans, and those who chose an alternative imaginary friend, or none at all?

No, thought not, but for a change, he's decided to blame women for Europe's woes, not pooves:

In his remarks to bishops gathered for ceremonies in Rome to mark the signing of the treaty that founded the EU in 1957, the Pope declared that the reluctance of women in Europe to have babies and Europe's failure to regenerate itself was putting the continent on the path to oblivion. From a demographic standpoint ... Europe seems set on a path that could lead it to take leave of history, he warned. Europe was losing faith in its own future.

Strangely, it's the countries that most respect him—Poland, Italy and Spain—that currently have their lowest birthrates in history.

As the EU turns 50, Pope says it's on path to oblivionThe Guardian, 26th March 2007.

March 23, 2007

Can we mention the war now?

Germany: A judge has been replaced after she used the Qur'an to deny an abused woman a quickie divorce.

The judge, Christa Datz-Winter, said the German woman of Moroccan descent would not be granted a divorce because she and her husband came from a Moroccan cultural environment in which it is not uncommon for a man to exert a right of corporal punishment over his wife, according to a statement she wrote that was issued by a Frankfurt court. That's what the claimant had to reckon with when she married the defendant.

The 26-year-old mother of two had been repeatedly beaten and threatened with death by her husband.

When the woman protested against the judge's decision, Ms Datz-Winter invoked the Qur'an to support her argument. In the court she read from verse 34 of Sura four of the Qur'an, An-Nisa (Women), in which men are told to hit their wives as a final stage in dealing with disobedience. The verse reads: ... as to those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them and leave them alone in the sleeping places and beat them.

The woman's lawyer, Barbara Becker-Rojczyk, protested, saying: When Christians are arguing for a divorce they don't use the Bible.

The decision outraged womens organisations, but also Germany's Central Council of Muslims which quickly issued a statement pointing out Violence and abuse of people are of course naturally reasons to warrant a divorce in Islam as well.

German judge invokes Qur'an to deny abused wife a divorceThe Guardian, 23rd March 2007.

March 22, 2007

Wiccan brings unfair dismissal case

England: A Brighton teaching assistant has told an Employment Tribunal that she was sacked because of her neopagan religious beliefs. Sommer De La Rosa, a Wiccan, claims her employers feared she would brainwash schoolchildren, that other teachers shunned her because of her religion and told her not to wear a pentagram necklace.

Her former employers disagree and say she was sacked because of poor attendance record and inappropriate disclosures to schoolchildren.

Employee claims she was unfairly dismissed for being a witchWorkplace Law, 22nd March 2007.

March 20, 2007

Kids think critically; teacher sacked

United States: A teacher has been fired after just eight days in the job for pushing creationist nonsense instead of teaching.

During his eight days as a part-time high school biology teacher, Kris Helphinstine included Biblical references in material he provided to students and gave a PowerPoint presentation that made links between evolution, Nazi Germany and Planned Parenthood.

In his defence, Helphinestine claimed that he only wanted to get the students thinking critically about biased information. The school board did not believe him, and he doesn't seem to have made it clear to his students that that was his intention.

Parent John Rahm told the newspaper that he became concerned when his freshman daughter said she was confused by the supplemental material provided by Helphinstine.

He took passages that had all kinds of Biblical references, Rahm said. It prevented her from learning what she needed to learn.

Ore. Teacher Fired Over Bible ReferencesThe Guardian, 20th March 2007.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Church and State category from March 2007.

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